Debates and debacles

Like most poltical junkies, I switched back and forth between the two debates last night, but I finally gave up on the fivesome. Steve Paikin did a fine job as moderator, but there were simply too many voices for anyone to be properly heard. I must admit I’m fed up with the Bloc, with no seats outside Quebec and no plans to run candidates in the rest of Canada, appearing with national leaders. As for Elizabeth May, much and all as I admire her policies, she was like the second cousin who comes to the family reunion and holds court a little too long.

The format for Biden-Palin was better, even though moderator Gwen Ifill had mixed success getting Sarah Palin to answer some of the questions asked. (I’ve always believed that was the secret of appearing on TV. Forget about the question and give the answer you want.) Joe Biden was smooth, almost too smooth for my taste. He wisely stayed away from attacks on Palin, but did score some direct hits on John McCain. As everyone milled about at the end, I winced and said to myself, “Don’t hug her.” He didn’t.

Both Biden and Palin exceeded expectations and she mended her reputation after a few poor outings of late. I awarded the match to Palin on points. But it all somehow seems so irrelevant, given the current financial debacle. No one can stop that juggernaut; no one even knows how much worse it will get. Least of all the candidates in either country.

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